GENERIC: COVID-19, coronavirus, schools reopening, masks, classroom, sign

JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) - Johnson County is in the "Red Zone" when it comes to reopening schools, news unwelcome by most parents looking for students to return to in-person learning.

It means remote learning is now the recommended option for older students in the county's six school districts, while elementary schools are still being advised to pursue in-person learning. Johnson County families were sent a letter outlining the current situation.

Officials with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment met with superintendents Tuesday to review the most recent data, which show that the county has averaged 106 cases per day over the last two weeks, up from 90 cases per day for the two weeks preceding.

The numbers also show that over the week Johnson County has seen 740 new infections, up from 629 new cases a week earlier.

“The spread of the virus is still increasing in Johnson County. The risk of exposure to the virus is low in schools when community transmission is low,” JCDHE Director Dr. Sanmi Areola said. “Unfortunately, we have not met the threshold in the school gating criteria for a safe return to in-person learning, even for a hybrid model.”

The recommendations to school officials may change if the situation improves, Areola believes, if the community is willing to make it possible.

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